Whether you are training for a Spartan race, marathon, a local 5k, pick-up basketball, or just picked up running or cycling, there are some critical nutritional and fitness components you must pay attention to. In order to optimize your performance, proper hydration, protein intake, strength training and warm-ups all need to be taken into account. Top that off with proper supplementation, and you are ready to start your training program off right.
Follow these 10 tips for endurance training, to prepare yourself for any race that stands in your way.
Tip #1: Stay Hydrated
Before you decide to engage in any endurance sport, you need to make sure your body is properly hydrated. Failing to do so can lead you to run the risk of muscle cramps and muscle fatigue. This is caused by depleting some of your mineral stores, in particular your electrolytes (sodium and potassium).
Make sure to drink at least 16-24 ounces of water before you workout - about 1/2 of your lean body mass in ounces. For example, if you have 150 pounds of lean body mass, drink at least 75 ounces of water a day. Drink more if you plan on working out a significant amount, such as endurance sports.
Tip #2: Make Sure You Perform a Dynamic Warm-up
Many endurance athletes will start their workout with a quick jog or light pedal on the bike. But, the body needs more than that to properly prepare for a tough road race or hard training run.
Instead, perform various dynamic stretches and body weight drills, such as squats, lunges, push-ups, jumping jacks and dynamic planks. Studies have shown that by performing a proper dynamic warm-up, you improve mobility, reduce the risk of injury and stimulate the nervous system to improve movement.
Tip #3: Wear Poper Footwear
Just buying a workout shoe you found on the sale rack at your local sporting goods store is not always the best option. You need to find a shoe that fits your foot correctly and that is right for your respective endurance sport. Instead, find a store that has someone who can help you get set up with the right shoe. Depending on your training level, you may need anything from a minimalist shoe to a stability shoe. In order to optimize performance, make sure the shoe fits you.